Signs That Your Skin Might be Aging
Some things get better with age. Red wine, a pair of white Converse sneakers…
Not skin, unfortunately.
Aging, while a totally inevitable process, is one of the most dreaded. As we approach 40 and midlife, we begin to wish for the smooth, supple skin of our 20s where sunspots didn’t exist and wrinkles were temporary, a side effect of frowning that quickly disappeared once we were in a better mood. Once you hit 30, however, the skin begins to enter a downward spiral of degeneration and there occurs a loss of functionalities in the skin that are also responsible for keeping its youthfulness and glow.
Before we even get into aging let’s get this out of the way: Aging is a totally natural and normal process and it should not be one that is feared, dreaded, or despised. It would be abnormal if you grew older but your skin stayed the same rosy, supple same as it was when you were 18. Biology just doesn’t work that way. So don’t fear aging! It is a process to be embraced, and you deserve to feel confident and beautiful at all stages of your life.
With that being said, many women dislike seeing the sunspots, wrinkles, and sagging skin that comes with aging. If you’re lucky and were born with genes that allow you to look youthful well into midlife, good for you! You won the genetic lottery. However, for many people, the signs of aging start to show in the 40s and even mid-thirties depending on your lifestyle habits and environment. Let’s take a bit of time to understand what the aging process is exactly, and what are some of the biological processes we can expect to occur underneath the skin.
How does aging skin occur?
As you mature in age, the whole structure of your face changes. Some obvious changes include retreating hairlines (which is why mature people also go for scalp treatment), drooping ears due to the growing cartilage within your ears, and sometimes even sagging in the tip of your nose as the connective tissues in the nose cartilage begin to weaken. In the skin itself, there are also processes that are occurring and manifest visibly over time.
Let’s go into the science of the skin itself. The skin comprises three layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue. The epidermis is the uppermost layer and also the skin’s surface. It is rich in keratin which makes the skin tough and water-resistant. The second layer, the dermis, is made of nerves, fats, blood vessels, elastin, and the well-loved collagen fibers that provide elasticity. The innermost layer is called the subcutaneous layer and it is largely made up of fat. Now, it is key to remember that there is an internal aging process that will happen regardless of whatever procedures you may go through. This process is unavoidable. In the years after you turn twenty, there will be a year-on-year decrease of collagen production in the dermis by 1%. During this, collagen and elastin fibers will become thicker, clumpier, and loose tightness which is how aging skin becomes inelastic and brittle, which leads to sagging and wrinkles. The skin’s natural exfoliation process also decreases by 28% which means that dead skin cells will be shed at a much slower rate. In your thirties, the process of transferring moisture from the dermis layer to the epidermis layer begins to slow down. The fat cells also begin to shrink in size. These processes lead to the skin becoming drier and thinner. In the forties, collagen production stops, and the sebaceous glands shrink, which will result in dry and brittle skin due to the lack of sebum, which is what keeps the skin moisturized.
What are the Signs of Aging?
You can tell whether your skin has begun to age with some visual indicators. The following is a list of signs that might tell you if your skin is aging:
1. Crow’s feet
Crow’s feet are wrinkles that are etched in the corners of eyes. Crows’ feet tend to be more pronounced than other kinds of wrinkles and can be particularly obvious when you smile. Loss of collagen and elasticity are the main causes of crow’s feet, and UV exposure can also be a cause. Crow’s feet tend to be one of the first signs of aging and can appear as early as the mid-20s. This is due to the fact that the skin around the eyes is thin and tends to lack in oil glands like the rest of the skin. This makes the area more susceptible to the diminishing of elasticity and hence crow’s feet are more likely to form earlier than later.
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2. Wrinkling around the eyes
Wrinkles around the eyes occur for the same reasons that crow’s feet do. The thinness of the skin in areas such as the eyelids and between the eyebrows mean that wrinkles will likely form here as well. Eye wrinkles and eye bags are another sign of aging, also due to the thinness of the skin in these regions. Too much frowning and repetitive facial expressions that scrunch up the face can also cause early wrinkling.
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3. Age spots
Age spots are some of the most obvious signs of aging, and well, it’s in the name! Age spots are the result of discolored skin and are also known as liver spots. They manifest as small, dark spots on areas exposed to the sun, especially the face, hands, and arms. For the record, if you are a young person who spends a lot of time in the sun you are also susceptible to sunspots. Sunspots can range in size and even be raised.
4. Wrinkling and sunspots on the decolletage/chest
Wrinkling on the chest and decolletage areas is another tell-tale sign of aging. The decolletage is the region comprising your neck and chest, and it is often overlooked in skin aging. However, because we often overlook this region it is hence very vulnerable to wrinkles and spots. If you don’t apply sunscreen to this region, you might start seeing premature signs of age in this area due to overexposure to UV rays.
5. Loose skin along the jawline and cheeks
This is another immediate sign of aging. It is also known as sagging and is attributed to a loss of firmness and elasticity in the skin structure. It is caused by the loss of collagen as well as the thinning of the epidermis. Collagen is what keeps the skin looking young and firm by providing structure to the dermis, which is the thickest layer of the skin. When collagen production stops in the forties, it is only normal that the skin will lose structure and begin to sag. Luckily, beauty tools like SBLA Beauty’s Facial Instant Sculpting Wand can come to the rescue to restore your skin’s elasticity and bounce.
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How to Prevent Aging
Always protect your skin from the sun
Sun exposure is 90% the culprit of premature skin aging as UV rays generate free radicals and are hence very damaging to the skin. Wearing SPF every day is critical to delaying the aging process, as it will protect your skin from UV exposure. Look for dermatologically-approved sunscreen with broad-spectrum and a minimum SPF of 30. But don’t just stop there, double up on the protection by wearing a hat whenever you go out into the sun, or carry an umbrella.
Don’t smoke and drink less
Not only is smoking bad for the lungs and overall health, but it is also extremely detrimental to your skin. Smoking speeds up the aging process very quickly, causing wrinkles, dryness, and sallowness of the skin. You might see longtime smokers who look aged beyond their years because their skin health has deteriorated so much. Alcohol is another culprit in skin aging as it causes dehydration. Retaining moisture is crucial to preventing premature aging, and alcohol does the exact opposite!
Start adding anti-aging products to your skincare routine
Preserve your skin’s youthfulness by moisturizing, adding serums, and incorporating retinoids. Skip the harsh cleansers that can damage the skin barrier and opt for neutral pH cleansers instead. Start using gentle exfoliants such as a washcloth or a chemical one like alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) to boost your skin’s dead cell turnover. Incorporate serums to boost your skin’s moisture and hydration. Serums with vitamin A and vitamin C are the most helpful in anti-aging, as these have antioxidant properties to fight free radicals, and also help to stimulate collagen production.
Try a laser for spots
Laser treatment is a good idea if you already have liver spots. It helps even out skin tone, get rid of pigmentation and spots, and resurfacing the facial skin. The laser works by stripping off the uppermost layers of skin where sunspots, scars, and sun damage may be located. The laser will then penetrate the dermis level of the skin to stimulate inflammation which will lead to collagen production. The laser is an expensive and time-consuming procedure that requires two weeks of healing time, so factor that in too if you are considering it. It is best left for mature women whose best move is no longer prevention but a cure.
If you are experiencing the above signs, it probably means your skin is aging. Pay attention to how much sun exposure you are getting, and consider limiting it or committing to wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen consistently. You can also consider seeing a dermatologist if you are unsure about how to prevent the aging process from happening too soon. Remember, aging is natural, and if you are going to incorporate anti-aging procedures into your routine, be sure that you are seeing a reputable dermatologist or aesthetician!
|1||Evidence Skincare Normal Skin Anti-Aging Kit|
Target all your skincare concerns with this kit that includes a Zinc-based daily moisturizer, Vitamin A night cream, and more.
|2||Salameh Ultimate Rejuvenating Serum|
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|3||Farmstay Real Avocado Nutrition Eye Cream|
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|4||DIOR Capture Youth Age-Delay Advanced Eye Treatment|
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|5||ELIZAVECCA Gold CF-Nest White Bomb Eye Cream|
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|6||SBLA Beauty Facial Instant Sculpting Wand|
The first revolutionary, non-invasive solution that targets the most visible areas of the face prone to aging like the eyes and brows.
|7||TriPollar GENEO Personal Oxygenation Device |
Enhance your skin’s natural oxygenation process at home with this device that kickstarts the skin rejuvenation process.